Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Life With Pets

The wait is finally over!

Life With Pets Magazine is taking over from Fur, Scales and Happy Tales at 

It would be great if you could have a look and let us know what you think!

Angie and the team at Life With Pets Magazine :)

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Coming soon...

Sorry for the lack of posts recently, but we are working on something new and exciting. Watch this space!

In the meantime, why not check out previous posts? View them all here >>

Monday, August 05, 2013

Could your pet be a model?

If you think your cat could conquer the catwalk or your parrot would like to be papped then why not enter them into a new competition in aid of Battersea dogs and cats home.

Buyagift’s Next Pet Model’ is an opportunity for you and your pet to win some fantastic prizes – including the chance to become the face (and whiskers) of their new range of pet accessories. 

What do you need to do to enter? I hear you shout at the screen! - well, this is the most important question really...

There are two ways you can enter your pet:

1. Upload a maximum of one photo of your pet to their Facebook page

2. Email your photos to

Remember to include your pet’s name, as well as a sentence or two telling them about them!

What happens then?

The organisers will select five finalists after the closing date – four of these will be picked from BuyaGift and one wild card entry will be selected on the basis of the photo with the most Facebook votes. 

The five pet finalists will be judged by the wonderful guys at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. They’ll have the difficult task of choosing their favourite pet plus one runner-up, and BuyaGift will then announce the winner via email and through their Facebook page.

What are the prizes?

The winning pet will be treated like a true celebrity, receiving the following:

- A photoshoot in a top studio, featuring your pet and a range of pet gifts. We’ll use some of the snaps on the BuyaGift website, making your furry bundle of joy Buyagift’s Next Pet Model! We’ll also give you a selection of photos from the shoot to take home.

- A luxury pet spa day at Harrods

- A goody bag filled with a selection of pet accessories

- They will present the cheque to Battersea in person, before being given a full tour of the shelter. Buyagift will be donating £1,500 to Battersea in your name. In 2012 alone, they  cared for 9,000 dogs and cats  animals who, through no fault of their own, found themselves abandoned with no options for shelter, security and food. This money will help them to continue with this amazing work.

The runner up will also receive a selection of pet goodies.

So get snapping those photos because the competition is now open and is running throughout August!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Losing weight with your pet - cani-cross is taking the country by storm!

A 35 year old woman has lost four stone running and competing in canine cross country with her dog, Oscar, a German Shepherd/Husky cross.
Tracy Evans, a community nurse, is keeping fit with the help of her dog as part of the Kennel Club’s Get Fit with Fido campaign and has gone from a size 16 to a size 8-10.

Tracy said: “I put on weight after I got married and I didn’t weigh myself after I reached 13 and a half stone.  I made the decision to lose weight and was trying for about two years but with no luck.”
This all changed when Tracy got Oscar, a rescue dog. Tracy started off by walking Oscar but realised he needed a lot more exercise so started running with him in addition to his walks.
 They now train between five to six mornings a week, running four miles at a time and Oscar gets an afternoon walk too.
Tracey added: “Getting Oscar changed everything, I always wanted to get fitter and now I had my motivation. I started running for Oscar, not for myself. It took him a while to get used to running alongside me and even now he still likes to do it on his own terms but we both really enjoy it.”

As well as running and competing in cani-cross - canine cross country - Tracy and Oscar take part in dog agility for fun.
Describing the benefits of keeping fit for herself and Oscar, Tracy said: “I love running and not only have I reached my target weight of nine and a half stone, I can now fit into the trousers I wore back when I qualified at the age of 21. It’s a great feeling!
“For Oscar, the benefits are fantastic - he gets the exercise he needs and has fun doing it. For rescue dogs like Oscar, who need to be socialised, training builds a strong bond between dog and owner and we have great fun together, and he loves his running routine. For me, I feel like I’ve got the perfect partner - I wouldn’t feel confident running in the middle of nowhere by myself but I feel safe with Oscar by my side.”
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “An estimated 40 percent of dogs are overweight and too many don’t get their daily walk. There are so many activities that owners can get involved in to help improve their fitness and lose weight. Tracy and Oscar highlight the importance of improving fitness for both dog and owner and the incredible benefits it brings.  Congratulations to Tracy for reaching her goal.”
The Kennel Club’s Get Fit With Fido campaign encourages dogs and their owners to get fit together to improve both health and fitness. The Get Fit With Fido Challenge, launched in January, rewards the dog and dog owner who jointly lose the most weight, and the dog owner and dog who individually lose the most weight, with the help of exercising together.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Labrador and Golden Retriever owners asked to help tackle canine obesity

Owners of Labradors and Golden Retrievers are being asked to participate in a study into whether or not these breeds are predisposed to obesity.

The study, being run by GOdogs, a research group at the University of Cambridge investigating the genetics of obesity in dogs, is attempting to find answers to why Labradors and Golden Retrievers may be prone to obesity.

The Kennel Club’s Breed Watch scheme, which identifies particular points of concern within each dog breed, lists a tendency to become overweight as one issue which these two breeds face.

Eleanor Raffan, a veterinarian and geneticist at the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Metabolic Science, and who is running the project, said: “Canine obesity is emerging as a significant threat to dogs’ health and welfare, with obesity being associated with the development of all manner of diseases from breathing problems to arthritis and diabetes to cancer.

“It is apparent that obesity develops when animals eat more calories than they burn up each day.  However, it is not known why some individuals eat and beg for food to the point of obesity whilst others remain lean.  The fact that some breeds, such as Labradors and Golden Retrievers, are predisposed to obesity makes us believe their genes are the cause.”
Alfie arrived at the RSPCA majorly over-weight, check out his story here.
“Research in humans suggests that genes governing appetite are important but there is much to learn and little work has been carried out in dogs.  If we can find a genetic reason why Labradors are considered greedy, it will offer benefits to them, other dog breeds and human medical science too.”

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, added: “We would encourage as many Labrador and Golden Retriever owners as possible to get involved in the study, which may help to safeguard the future health of these wonderful breeds.”

GOdogs require a saliva sample from participating dogs, that the dog is ‘condition scored’ and weighed by a vet or vet nurse, and owners will be asked to fill out a questionnaire.  To be eligible for inclusion in the study, dogs must be over 5 years old and either lean or markedly overweight.

Further information about the project, and details of how to get involved, can be found following GOdogs on Twitter (@GOdogsProject) or by emailing Eleanor Raffan directly at

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The kitten who survived five days trapped in a wall

Meet Macavity, the amazing six week old kitten that survived five days trapped in a wall.

In a case that would be the bafflement of Scotland Yard, RSPCA staff were left scratching their heads after a tiny kitten was discovered stuck between the wall cavity of a first floor flat, with no indication of how he got there – or how he managed to survive so long.

 For five days a tenant, from Liskeard, South east Cornwall, had heard meowing coming from inside the walls of his flat and contacted the RSPCA after becoming increasingly concerned about the heath of the cat.

RSPCA Animal Welfare Officer (AWO) Felicity Cross arrived at the scene. She said: “The flat was in the process of being sold, when the tenant heard the poor cat wailing and moving behind the wall. After frantically searching for any way to get to it, we realised the only chance of saving it would be to make a hole.

“We managed to get hold of the estate agents who were handling the sale and while they were initially very reluctant to help – after liaising with the fire and rescue service they kindly agreed to let us knock a few small holes in the wall in order to rescue the kitten!”

It took a couple of hours to get to the cat and when they finally rescued him, AWO Cross was flabbergasted to discover that the cat was in fact just six week old and weighed only 150g (less than a bar of chocolate).

The gorgeous, ginger pus – that has since been named Macavity - was rushed to the vet, where he was treated for severe dehydration and weight loss. Despite his ordeal he has responded well to bit of TLC and put on a staggering 520g in two days!

“What was even more surprising is that we undertook a thorough search of the property, including the loft and we couldn’t find any sign of the mother, or any other kittens. There was absolutely no indication of how Macavity got there. He really is a mystery cat!” Cross added.

The RSPCA is waiting to see if anyone comes forward to claim Macavity, and if not, he will be rehomed once his in full health.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Growing concerns for 'snatched' baby Elephants

Concerns are growing for baby elephants snatched from the wild in Africa then flown to Chinese zoos after one died and footage seen by the RSPCA shows another very sick.
The RSPCA has launched a petition calling for an end to exports of wild-caught elephants from Zimbabwe after four calves were caught in the north of the country late 2012 then sent by plane to China. The elephants were aged between two and three and so would still be feeding on their mother’s milk.

One elephant has already died and undercover footage shows another very sick young male living in appalling conditions and in need of urgent veterinary care. It is believed that Zimbabwe is planning to send more young elephants to China in the coming months, and even more thought to be ‘on order’ from zoos around the world.

While the export of elephants from Zimbabwe is not illegal under international trade laws, experts believe these animals are suffering greatly from the conditions in the zoos, the stress of such long transportation and the fact they have been torn away from their mothers and social groups at such a young age.

Dr Ros Clubb, wildlife expert for the RSPCA, said: “The footage we have been shown of this poor calf is agonising to watch.

“He looks awful and we fear he will just deteriorate and die if he does not get the urgent veterinary attention he needs. He’s very underweight, his skin is covered in marks and sores and he has a swelling under his belly - which could mean a serious medical condition.

“This is an awful situation for any elephant, both physically and psychologically, but particularly for one so young who has also suffered the stress of being flown half-way across the world.

“Elephants are large, socially complex, intelligent animals and even modern zoos following the most up-to-date standards are unable to provide for their needs. The conditions I’ve seen in this zoo are simply unacceptable.”

The footage was taken in Taiyuan Zoo in northern China and shows the poorly baby elephant in a stark, empty cell-like enclosure. Experts say the concrete floor could cause foot and joint problems; the solitary confinement is likely to lead to abnormal behaviours and the way he is pulling off parts of the wall suggests shoddy standards which could be dangerous.

Experienced elephant vets have said the elephant needs immediate veterinary attention but the zoo has so far refused all offers of help. It is not known how well the other two calves, taken to Xinjiang Safari Park in north-west China, are surviving.

Paul Littlefair, Head of RSPCA International said: “The suffering of this elephant and the one who died is just a fraction of the problem. We understand the Zimbabwean authorities are planning to fly several more baby elephants to zoos in China in the coming months – they could all face a similar fate from this cruel trade.

“We urge those who agree with us that these conditions are not acceptable, to sign this petition calling on the Zimbabwean authorities to stop any future exports. The RSPCA hopes that now the authorities in Zimbabwe are aware of the conditions at Taiyuan Zoo, where one of their elephant calves has died and the surviving calf is in very poor health, that they will not allow any more elephants to be sent to zoos where they are likely to suffer. We need to do all we can to protect these majestic animals and ensure that Zimbabwe’s precious wildlife can continue to stay in the wild where it belongs.”

For anyone interested in signing the petition it can be found